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Playing It Safe [see new edition]: The Crazy World of Britain's Health and Safety Regulations Hardcover – 4 May 2008

3.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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  • Playing It Safe [see new edition]: The Crazy World of Britain's Health and Safety Regulations
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Friday Project; First Edition edition (4 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905548850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905548859
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.8 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 888,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Reveals the extent of our health and safety lunacy.' News of the World --1<br /><br />'Very entertaining.' Jeffrey Podger, chief executive Health & Safety Executive --2

'Very entertaining.' Jeffrey Podger, chief executive Health & Safety Executive --2 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

London born Alan Pearce has worked as a journalist, broadcaster and author for thirty years. He covered conflicts around and was seriously injured covering the Taliban takeover of Kabul in 1996 while working as the BBC Afghanistan correspondent. He is married and lives in France.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book description claims this is "hilarious (all true, unfortunately) examples of Health and Safety gone mad." Well all it is is a trawl though the usual array of un-corroberated stories that have appreared in local papers and a few dubious websites. As a result it perpetuates myths like trapeze artists have been told to wear hard hats because the Daily Telegraph once reported that. This is despite the acceptance that this story is totally made up. In fact many of the stories are like this. Most of the others are actually nothing about health and safety simply about officials misunderstanding food hygience rules etc. I went through it looking for the promised stories of "health and safety gone mad" and all I found was a mixture of pretty boring press articles about people complaining about not being able to do something and then blaming "health and safty". Where are the stories of the Health and Safety Executive cracking down on all these poor employers for not having the right first aid box or whatever. They simply are not there. Why? Well perhaps it is because we do not live in a risk-averse society. If we did we would not have 2.2 million people suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by their work.
Nor do we have a "compensation culture" The book contains statements like how, after 1998 when the government introduced "no win - no fee" arrangements, "the floodgates opened". I am not sure how this squares with the steep fall in compensation claims in recent years, or the fact that 9 out of every 10 workers injured at work do not receive anything.
I guess this book will suit those who like their preconceptions pandered to and are not too concerned about accuracy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'Playing It Safe' is a collection of nearly 250 short press clippings compiled by journalist Alan Pearce. They paint a rather unflattering portrait of 'bureaucratic Britain' which may have you holding your sides with laughter, or your head in your hands with despair, according to your sense of humour (and, possibly, your age).

The cuttings have been gathered between 2000-2007 and come from a wide variety of sources . There's a good mix of articles from local and national tabloids and broadsheets and even some tales from Auntie Beeb herself. They are presented in one long stream, with no chapter breaks or any other headings. Without any natural pauses in the text, it's quite easy just to plough through the lot in one sitting, as I did. In spite of the cartoon image on the front cover, there are no other illustrations in the book.

The stories range widely in terms of subject matter. Ladders, conkers and Christmas decorations all feature heavily. Health and Safety Officers from local authorities are oft quoted. The town council of Bury St Edmunds is mentioned on more than one occasion! Overall, I didn't find the collection quite as side-splitting as some other reviewers did, but the story of Shenkin the goat's unfortunate incident at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff did cause a tear of mirth (no animals are harmed in the incident, before you ask). Another personal highlight was the tale of the shopping centre Santa who had to be given a hard hat after local kids threw mince pies at him.

Even in some of the more mundane accounts, there are some great quotes to be found. When Paul Hudson found that he could no longer take his pet iguana into the Metrocentre in Gateshead, his response was not entirely reassuring: "He is a nice animal.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some of the HSE/Brussels/Other Jobsworths described in this badly and sensationally written tome are indeed gob-smacking senselessness, but in truth many of the rulings cover instances of equally gob-smacking stupidity and ill thought out activities, which should never have seen the light of day in the first place!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I got this for "a laugh" as it was only £0.99p. I want my money back! This so called book is just a rehash of untrue (i.e. made up) stories that are perpetuated by our media in order to make Health & Safety unpopular and lead to total deregulation of all workplaces. This is just what the current Condem government wants to happen so their mates in big business can reap the profits and not be held accountable for murdering their employees.
It peddles the usual myths: jobsworths, H&S Nazis!, "compensation culture" (which doesn't exist:[...]/compensation-culture/personal-injury-claims-low-compensation-culture-is-a-myth) etc. Also to be noted is a lot of these stories have nothing to do with Health & Safety but with Public Liability insurance in cases where events are cancelled and cakes can't be taken in to care homes and eaten by the residents. This is so the "people" concerned can't be sued. Other stories are to to with Environmental Health transgressions.
Overall this is a fine example of "churnalism" where stories are just copied and pasted at will from Newswire without being checked for accuracy. Only 12% of our news stories are checked for accuracy (see here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flat-Earth-News-Award-winning-Distortion/dp/0099512688/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361716695&sr=1-1).
Avoid.
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